Roasted Chickpeas

Being pregnant does not mean eating for two. And it is not an excuse to eat whatever you want. In reality, for a healthy single pregnancy, you do not need any extra calories the first trimester. The second about 300 more. And the third about 500 more.

So being 16 weeks, I need an extra 300 calories a day right now. This equates one extra snack.  I was having a glass of soy milk and a piece of fruit, but I was getting bored with that everyday. I wanted something crunchy and salty—like potato chips, but not as much fat. Plus I wanted more protein. Then I saw something on Pinterest about roasted chickpeas and knew I had to make them. I decided to just make up my own version to suit my taste. So feel free to change the spices to suit your tastes!
This recipe makes about 15 servings.
Roasted Chickpeas
1 bag of dry chickpeas
4 tbs Olive Oil
Smoked Paprika
In a large bowl, add the dry chickpeas and cover with water.
Let for at least 6 hours, overnight is possible. Side note, the chickpeas making a popping noise as soak up the water. Took an hour for my husband and I to figure out where the noise was coming from…
Drain the chickpeas.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Coat with the olive oil, salt, and smoked paprika.
Spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
Baked for one hour. Give them a stir or shake occasionally.
Let them cool and enjoy!
These are even better than I hoped! I am one happy expecting mama!

Pindi Chana

I fell in love with Indian food while I was studying abroad in Australia. There was a little place right on campus that was pretty cheap. It was also conveniently on the walk back from the tram so I would get some when I got off work on occasion. The menu rotated every day but there was the usual selection of curries, chutneys, and such. I have looked-up the recipes for some of my favorites before, but they scared me. Tons of weird spices, ingredients I have never heard, and insanely long cook times. But the other day I wanted something spicy so I decided to search for a simple recipe (there had to be one, India is a very big country, someone has to be lazy like me!) I came across a site called Indian Food Forever and found some really tasty sounding recipes. Then I saw it—a recipe that was easy and I had almost everything it called for already. And It has chickpeas, one my favorite foods.

Pindi chana is pretty much curried chickpeas. What intrigued me the most about the recipe was that the chickpeas are soaked overnight with teabags. This give them a deeper, earthier flavor that stands up against the curry. I cannot find much information on the origins of the dish, the one website I found was half in Hindi, which I sadly cannot read. 
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans if you prefer, are one of the oldest vegetables know to man. They have been around since biblical times and even spread to the Roman Empire. Apparently some cultures even use them as substitute for coffee (I think I will stick with my Kona coffee). Chickpeas are high in zinc, fiber, folate, and protein. I love to make hummus with them or have them cold on a salad.

Pindi Chana
1 cup dry chickpeas
2 bags of black tea
1 onion, chopped
1 two inch piece of ginger, chopped
2 clove of garlic
1 green chili, de-stemed and chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
1tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Salt to taste

Rinse and pick through the chickpeas. Cover with water and add the tea bag. Soak for at least 6 hours, I left mine overnight.

Drain the chickpeas and add to a large pot. Cover with water, cover and cook until tender, about 25 minutes.

Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid and drain off the rest.

Heat some oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until golden.

Add the chopped ginger, garlic, and chili sauté for another a minute or two.

Add the tomatoes, reserved liquid and all the remaining spices.

Simmer uncovered until the majority of the liquid is absorbed.

I garnished mine with some more spices. I didn’t feel like waiting for rice to cook, so I threw a sweet potato in the microwave for a minutes and served my pindi chana over it. I loved the orangey-yellow color palate.

Veggie Pizza

Like I said in my Pad Thai Pizza post, Friday night is pizza night for my family, and I am trying to keep the tradition alive now that I live on my own.

This is my go-to pizza. It’s simple, but always delicious. Like the Pad Thai Pizza, it has no cheese. Instead there is a layer of hummus that gives it a creamy texture that makes you forget about cheese all together. I used homemade hummus, which I will post a recipe for later, but  I used store-bought tomato sauce because I don’t have enough tomatoes right now.

I get the veggies for my pizza from the salad bar at the grocery store. They are already cut up and ready to go.

I posted a recipe earlier for an Easy Pizza Dough. You can use a pre-made or pre-baked one, but try making one for yourself. It really makes a difference.

Veggie Pizza

1 pre-baked pizza crust (try mine)
1 cup hummus 
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup kalamata olives
1/4 cup sliced red onions
1/4 cup red/green/yellow peppers

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Evenly spread the hummus on the pizza crust.

I sprinkled on some dried basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

Next spread the tomato sauce on top of the hummus.  I suggest the hummus goes first because it is easier to spread that way.

Next top with the remaining veggies.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden and the veggies are heated.

Pair with your favorite vegan beer or naturally sweetened soda, and you have yourself a yummy Friday night treat. 

If you like wheat beer, I suggest Blue Moon. And if you like spicy, throw in a hot pepper in too.